Sunday, March 22, 2020

Fight for the Right to Live

"What shall we do?" they despaired. "Can God really accept this? So much suffering?"

"God helps those who help themselves," one rebel said and a few others nodded in agreement.

An elder was offended. "Do you think we have not done enough?"

"The world wouldn't have come to this state if you had done what you should have!" the rebel protested vehemently.

"Every time we fought, they built up their defenses and became stronger!" said one particularly frustrated former firebrand. "Sometimes they even seem to anticipate our moves..."

"There is no unity, that's the truth. Some of us, in fact, turn turncoats," one particularly wise one said calmly. "They work against us, fight us, and I don't even know what they get! Maybe the comfort of a safe home and an idle life," the wise one grimaced. "What do we really ask for? To be left to ourselves, to lead our life with some dignity... But increasingly, we are not being allowed to live peacefully. We are constantly being pushed to a corner," he said with his voice heavy.

"Nothing seems to work! They breed without restraint!" one complained.

"But they also give you room to breed! We are just being squeezed out completely!"

"And when mother nature unleashes her fury, our numbers reduce further, but you guys just breed more," one grimaced.

For the first time in the history of Earth, the birds, animals, plants and even microorganisms got together for an emergency meeting on the crisis facing their planet, their home, their only home. The recent floods and fires had been man-made and they now saw that there was no other choice but to take drastic measures to curtail the proliferation of this poison that was killing their planet. It hadn't been easy for them all to come together. There were predators and preys, and predators and predators, and there were the scavengers and the saprophytes, and there were the microorganisms that preyed on all of them.

There was no leader for this gathering, none would have been accepted. They eyed each other warily, the enemies they could see, and warily looking around trying to sense the unseen. But they all knew that they had to do something about the growing menace of mankind. Name-calling and blame-apportioning threatened to hijack the meeting.

The last accusation was from an elephant, leveled against the microbes. Before the microbes could respond, a lion roared. "Let's not bicker like humans!" All fell silent. He raised his chin to address the unseen. "Only you can help. We lions have become trophies to be hunted. Men have devices that render even the most powerful useless. But you have some power still."

"We die every time!" exclaimed a faceless voice.

"But you also can breed fast, multiply fast," the elephant pointed out.

"We are also becoming quite powerless," one bacteria lamented. "As you mentioned, some of our friends have been brainwashed to live in jars and fight us..."

"We are a little better," a virus laughed. "But we cannot harm very deeply."

The assembly fell silent as each one talked of their failed efforts at containing this malaise that had plagued their homes. Some talked of their dwindling numbers due to hunting, some - due to shrinking habitats so that man could own more than one home; a few were affected by the noise and vibrations the humans created, and the list went on...

"They need a surprise attack," it was decided.

"It always causes only limited damage," a monkey pointed out.

"Something that keeps them in, shuts them up, and makes them realise how we feel every day. We don't need to annihilate them, just realise," a snake hissed vehemently.

He got plenty of baleful looks, but it was not in them to want to destroy mindlessly.

One virus group gently drew attention to itself. "We can try something... we have been experimenting with shape-shifting. Maybe we can try something..."

There was pin-drop silence. "Please do..." came the unanimous response.

The virus group, named coronavirus but soon to be fondly addressed as Covid 19, took flight. Since then, humans have been sent scrambling for their life and a remedy. But meanwhile, slowly, the other creatures have started coming out, reclaiming land bit by bit. The humans pray that they can soon be free again. The other creatures hope they can be free forever.



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